Claybusters Capture State Titles in SCTP Championships

Claybusters first place squad from earlier this month in the SCTP Region shoot for the Junior Varsity Division.
Xavier Bartley, Braden Davenport, Landon Meadows, Logan Meadows and Emma Mathews.

The Coffee County Claybusters competed in the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) State Championships on Thursday and Friday of last week.  As is customary for the Claybusters, they returned home with a team state title.  Additionally, the individual performances netted individual state championships for a trio of Claybusters.

The Coffee County CHS JV team won the Senior/Junior Varsity team title on Friday as they scored 479 hits out of 500 targets on the day.   They outdistanced 2nd place Tipton County by 15 targets.  Leading the Claybusters was Landon Meadows who was perfect at the line shooting a 100.  Emma Mathews and Logan Meadows were close behind with matching 98’s.  Xavier Bartley shot 93 and Brayden Davenport shattered 90 clays.

The high school varsity team put up an impressive score of 480, but that was only good enough for 10th place in the talented field.   They finished 16 clays out of 1st place as Cumberland County shot a phenomenal score of 496 out of a possible 500.  Victoria Jacobs led the senior team as she shattered 99 clays.  Hayden Jacobs was right behind at 98 while Tucker Carlton shot 97.  Colter Smith had a round of 95 and Cheyenne Martin came in at 91 targets.

On Thursday in the middle school Intermediate Advanced Division, the Claybusters captured a 2nd place finish with a score of 451.  They finished 17 clays behind the championship team from South Gibson.  Pacing the middle schoolers was Garrett Taylor who shot a 96.  Riley Bellomy dropped 93 birds and Jonah Wyatt was right behind him with 92.  Dylan Hickerson shot 87 targets while David Braden downed 83 fliers.

Individually, Landon Meadows won the overall and men’s individual title in the Senior/JV division.  Victoria Majors was crowned the Senior/Varsity division Ladies’ state champion.  Emma Mathews won the doubles competition and secured 2nd place in the Ladies’ Senior/JV division.   Garrett Taylor was 6th in the middle school Men’s Intermediate/Advanced level division and 6th overall in the among all middle school shooters.   Logan Meadows finished in 7th place in the Senior/JV division.  Jacob Anderson placed 7th in the Men’s Intermediate/Entry level division.

Preds Pleased with Selections at Draft, Add Eight Prospects to Roster

2019 Preds #1 draft pick Phillip Tomasino[Photo by]

Philip Tomasino was the first, and on day two of the 2019 NHL Draft, seven more players heard their names called by the Nashville Predators.

In all, five forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender are now a part of the Nashville depth chart, a positive weekend for the club as they look to improve their prospect pool.

“We’re happy with the way it went,” Preds Assistant General Manager Jeff Kealty said of the draft. “We had to adjust to things on the fly a little bit with the trade that went on, but we were ready for it. We were prepared, and we thought that we got a lot of guys that we wanted, a lot of guys we had targeted and talked about. That’s always what you hope for, and time will tell. It takes a few years for it to all play out, but we were happy with the way the weekend went.”

Thanks in part to a trade Saturday morning that sent P.K. Subban to New Jersey, the Preds began the day of drafting in the second round by selecting winger Egor Afanasyev with the 45th overall pick. The 6-foot-4 Russian, who skated with Muskegon of the United States Hockey League last season and is slated to join the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League this fall, has all the makings of a power forward and says he models his game after Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets.

“I’m excited for sure, and I can’t wait to get things started with Nashville,” Afanasyev said. “I’ve heard it’s a great team, and I’ve heard a lot of NHL players say it’s hard to play against them because the fans are going nuts [at Bridgestone Arena]. It should be fun.”

The Predators had Afanasyev ranked higher than where they were able to snag him, and the group was thrilled to come away with a player they feel has tremendous potential.

“He’s a big, strong, skilled offensive forward,” Predators North American Scout David Westby said. “He can protect the puck well and is strong on the boards and in the corners. I’d say he’s more of a shooter than a playmaker, but he’s hard to play against. I think he’s a top-six forward and with his time in junior hockey will be a productive player at the NHL level.”

Round 3 brought about the 65th overall pick to Nashville, and they selected Alexander Campbell, a skilled, speedy centerman. Campbell skated with Victoria of the BCHL last season, recording 21 goals and 67 points in 53 games.

“It’s a huge honor, and I’m super excited,” Campbell said of being selected by Nashville. “It’s a team I love to watch, definitely. They have a heck of an organization; great group of forwards, defensemen and goaltenders…. To be sitting here with a Predators jersey on, it doesn’t even feel real to me.”

The fourth round saw the Preds make two selections, the first of which went to defenseman Marc Del Gaizo out of UMass at No. 109. The 5-foot-9 defenseman potted 13 goals and 29 points during his freshman season with the Minutemen, numbers that led him to a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.

Just eight slots later, Nashville went with defenseman Semyon Chistyakov out of Ufa, Russia. Ranked much higher than 117 by a number of pre-draft publications, the 5-foot-10 blueliner helped Russia to a silver medal at the U-18 World Junior Championship and was named one of the team’s three-best players at the tournament.

The Predators snagged a goaltender in Round 5, choosing Ethan Haider from the Minnesota Magicians of the NAHL. Committed to Clarkson University for the 2020-21 season, Haider posted a 2.35 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in 37 contests on his way to being named the NAHL Midwest Goaltender of the Year.

Isak Walther heard his name called in Round 6 by the Preds at pick No. 179, a winger who has skated with the Södertälje SK organization in Sweden. He moved up to the Södertälje SK J20 club by the end of last season after posting impressive numbers at the junior levels.

Finally, at pick No. 210, it was Finnish forward Juuso Parssinen who got to come out of the crowd at Rogers Arena and slip on the final Preds jersey of the 2019 Draft.

“It’s amazing, and it’s a dream come true,” Parssinen said. “There weren’t many picks to go, but I got drafted, so that’s the main thing.”

“He is a big centerman who plays a good all-around game,” Predators European Scout Janne Kekalainen said. “He has some good offensive abilities he has to use a little more. He has a heavy shot, is good on faceoffs and protects the puck really well. Like I said, he needs to use what he has more actively to produce some more offense. He has a terrific mentality.”

Tomasino was Nashville’s top prize from the draft, with Preds scouts eager to see their new centerman at Development Camp in Tennessee next week and beyond.

“He’s a really dynamic player,” Predators Chief Amateur Scout Tom Nolan said. “He attacks, plays with high-end speed and has real good instincts with and without the puck. He’s a top-six forward, we feel. He has a great personality and will fit in well as time goes on.”

In addition to the Subban deal, the Preds made a minor trade, also with New Jersey, sending forward Adam Helewka to the Devils for future considerations.

Predators Development Camp begins on Tuesday in Nashville with on-ice sessions at Centennial Sportsplex. A full schedule of events for Nashville’s top prospects can be seen at:


Power Continues to Surge in Nashville’s Win

The Nashville Sounds tied a season-high with four home runs as they beat the New Orleans Baby Cakes 6-5. Eli White led the way for the Sounds’ offense getting three hits, including a home run and added a stolen base.

The first pitch of the game was a home run by Zack Granite, which was his second home run of the season. That put Nashville up 1-0.

Matt Davidson was the next to hit a homer with a two-run shot in the third inning. Carlos Tocci scored on the hit and the Sounds were up 3-0.

The Baby Cakes plated their first run in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Heineman was able to reach third base with less than two outs and Monte Harrison hit a sacrifice fly to get the run across to make it 3-1. But Nashville doubled that total in the top half of the sixth with a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer to put the score at 5-1.

White hit his home run in the top of the seventh to add an insurance run late in the top of the seventh. That would give the Sounds their 11th homer of the season and the 6-1 lead. Eddy Alvarez softened the blow with a solo home run himself in the bottom half of the inning to make the game 6-2.

New Orleans would get close in the ninth inning. Three runs would score in the with the tying run on second base and the winning run at first, but David Carpenter finished the job for the Sounds as Nashville won 6-5. It was Carpenter’s 10th save of the season.

The Sounds travel to Memphis to complete their nine-game road trip with a four-game series against the Redbirds. Left-handed pitcher Joe Palumbo (0-0, —) will make his Triple-A debut for the Sounds while Memphis will throw right-hander Anthony Shew (1-3, 5.17).

Post-Game Notes

– With tonight’s 6-5 win, the Sounds go to 31-45 on the season.

– Matt Davidson hit his 20th homer of the season and now has eight different seasons in which he has that many home runs.

– Reliever Ronald Herrera made his first appearance with Nashville since May 25 versus Round Rock where he earned the loss in a start. He has pitched with Double-A Frisco since then, making three starts.

– Zack Granite’s leadoff home run was the second time a Sound has done so. Delino DeShields was the other hitter to do so this season, back on back on May 30 versus New Orleans.

– Eli White’s 10th home run of the season sets his career high.

– This 3-2 series win is Nashville’s fourth of the season. They are 4-11-2 thus far in series matchups.

The 2019 season is the 42nd in Nashville Sounds franchise history and first as the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Single-game tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting

Coffee County CHS Cheerleaders Capture Honors at Summer Camp

Members of the Coffee County CHS Cheer squad[Photo provided]

The Coffee County CHS cheerleaders traveled to Cookeville last week for the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) summer camp at Tennessee Tech.  The Raider cheer squad captured both team and individual awards in the 4 day camp.


Coffee County CHS All-American cheerleaders Paige Botts(left) And Ryan Green(right) [Photo provided]

The Raider cheer team earned a superior ribbon for their performance each day of the camp.  The squad also was selected for the Traditions Award that is selected by the UCA staff.  This award is given to the squad that demonstrates the qualities of inspiring leadership both on and off the field.  The team also won 3rd place for their rally routine performance.

Individually, Paige Botts and Ryan Green were selected as All-Americans.  Brooke Gwinn and Emmalise Raymer were each recognized for their hard work and sportsmanship with the UCA Pin It Forward Award.  The pins are selected by cheerleaders from other squads at the camp.

Sounds Let Lead Slip Away Late in New Orleans

After tying the game and building a lead late, the Nashville Sounds let it slip away, as the New Orleans Baby Cakes scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Sounds 8-5 on Sunday afternoon at the Shrine on Airline. The five-game set now is even at two wins apiece.

The Sounds trailed 3-1 after five innings but rallied over the next three frames to take a 5-3 lead. In the sixth, Eli White doubled and scored on a wild pitch, and Tyler Pill nailed a game-tying RBI double off the wall in right to make it 3-3. Then Nolan Fontana blasted a home run leading off the seventh and drew a bases-loaded walk against Brian Moran in the eighth for a 5-3 advantage.

New Orleans turned the game upside down with a five-run eighth against Jake Petricka, who had combined with starter Tim Dillard for a perfect seventh. The Cakes knocked out six hits in the eighth and led 8-5 by the end of the frame. Dillard left in line for a win but got a no-decision with his third quality start of the year. He gave up three runs – all in the third – over 6 1/3 innings and walked none. Moran got the win, and Tyler Kinley saved it for New Orleans.

The five-game series concludes Monday night at 7:00 CT. Phillips Valdez (1-6, 5.88) will pitch for the Sounds (30-45), and Hector Noesi (7-3, 2.87) is scheduled for New Orleans (42-34).

Post-Game Notes

Carlos Tocci drove in a run with a sac fly but went 0-for-4, snapping his hitting streak at eight and his on-base streak at 20 games.
The Sounds have hit seven home runs through the first four games of the series, with Nolan Fontana homering in consecutive games
Matt Davidson went 0-for-5 to snap his hitting streak at six games
Tim Dillard is now tied with Seth Maness for the team lead in quality starts (3)
The 2019 season is the 42nd in Nashville Sounds franchise history and first as the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Single-game tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting

Nashville SC Extends Unbeaten Run In Thrilling 3-3 Draw with Ottawa Fury FC

Ropapa Mensah of Nashville SC

Another exciting back-and-forth match for Nashville Soccer Club ended in a 3-3 draw against Ottawa Fury FC at First Tennessee Park on Saturday night.

Goals by Daniel Ríos, Ropapa Mensah and Cameron Lancaster were enough to extend Nashville’s unbeaten streak in USL Championship play to seven matches.

Both teams scored in the first half as Nashville SC got the on the board early with a beautifully-worked goal in the 9’ minute. Mensah and Lebo Moloto were credited with assists on Ríos 10th goal of the season, moving the MLS-signed forward into a tie for the league lead in goal scored, for the time being.

After Ottawa equalized just before the half on a free kick, Fury FC jumped out to a second half lead through a goal in the 50’ minute. It didn’t take Nashville long to return the favor as Justin Davis sent a free kick onto the head of Mensah who nodded it home from the near post.

It looked like Nashville SC would come away with all three points when substitute Cameron Lancaster came on and scored on his first touch to give Nashville a 3-2 lead in the 71’ minute. It was Lancaster’s fifth goal in his last five appearances, a club record. However, it was Ottawa who found the final goal as the visitors scored in the 81’ minute to equalize.

Here are three takeaways from the thrilling draw:

1) Ríos and Mensah Top the Chart

Forwards Daniel Ríos and Ropapa Mensah have started just three matches together up top for Nashville SC, but the pair have found a quick chemistry. In the three matches the combo has started up top, Ríos and Mensah have combined for four goals and two assists while leading the offense to 10 total goals. With goals for each on Saturday night, both are now atop the club’s all-time goal scoring charts with 10 goals each in a Nashville SC uniform.

2) Super-Sub Cameron Lancaster

Off the bench, Cameron Lancaster has been electric. The English forward has five goals in his last five appearances and four as a substitute. Diving deeper, in his past four USL Championship appearances, all as a sub totaling 94 minutes, Lancaster has scored four times. With a goal scored in five straight matches, Lancaster extends his Nashville SC record for consecutive appearances with a goal.

3) Moloto Providing the Service

When Nashville SC traded for midfielder Lebo Moloto before the 2018 season, Head Coach Gary Smith knew he had found his offensive engine. Moloto has powered the offense to a club record 10 goals in its last three matches. Moloto has been involved in four of the goals, with a goal and three assists, and with an assist on Saturday, upped his total assist tally to five on the season. His five assists are tied for fifth in the USL Championship this season.

Up Next

Nashville SC won’t have much time to rest as it will play a Wednesday night home match against New York Red Bulls II at First Tennessee Park. Red Bulls II is tied with Nashville in third place in the Eastern Conference standings with 29 points. Nashville would move into second place in the conference with a victory.

Ibanez and Tocci Lead Sounds in Rout

Andy Ibanez and Carlos Tocci combined for seven hits, four runs and five RBIs on Saturday night, leading the Nashville Sounds to an easy 10-3 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes at the Shrine on Airline in the middle game of a five-game series. The Sounds totaled a season-high 18 hits and matched their largest margin of victory on the year.

The game was tied 1-1 in the third when Nolan Fontana launched a home run to right field to give the Sounds a lead they never gave away, and they broke open the game with a six-run third off Ben Meyer. Eli White drilled a two-run double, Matt Davidson singled home a run and Ibanez crushed a three-run homer to make it 8-1.

Ibanez collected another run-scoring hit by driving in Tocci with a single in the sixth, and Tocci got his fourth hit with an RBI double in the seventh. Ibanez went 3-for-5 and finished a triple shy of the cycle, and Tocci went 4-for-5, becoming the third Sound this year to have a four-hit game.

Pedro Payano notched his first victory as a Sound, giving up one run in five innings. Taylor Guerrieri and Jake Lemoine had scoreless relief outings, and New Orleans managed two runs in the ninth off Josh Fields for the 10-3 final.

The five-game series continues Sunday afternoon at 1:00 CT. Tim Dillard (5-6, 4.23) is scheduled to start for the Sounds, and Robert Dugger (NR) will pitch for New Orleans.

Post-Game Notes

Carlos Tocci has hit safely in eight games in a row and reached safely in 20 games in a row
This was the Sounds’ largest margin of victory since they defeated Round Rock 9-3 on May 17, and it equaled their season-high (13-6 win vs. Oklahoma City on May 8)
Matt Davidson went 3-for-5 and owns a six-game hitting streak

Coffee County Red Raider Basketball Ends Summer Scrimmage Schedule with Pair of Wins

Rod Brinkley of Coffee County CHS basketball.

The Coffee County CHS basketball team closed out their summer scrimmage schedule on Thursday as they played a pair of games in their home gym.  The Red Raiders hosted 5 visiting teams on the day as they captured wins over Cannon County and Fayetteville.

The Red Raiders opened the day with a 56 to 50 win over Cannon County.  In the day’s second game, Coffee County trailed most of the 1st quarter before taking the lead on the 2nd possession of the 2nd quarter.  The Raiders built a 7 point lead before the half before Fayetteville made a late charge capped by a 30 foot 3 pointer at the halftime buzzer.  In the 2nd half, the Red Raiders led for all but 54 seconds of the half as they rolled to a 56 to 50 win.  Jaylen Wooten led Coffee County in scoring with 13 points.  Kyle Farless added 10 points while Jaxon Vaughn and Tyler Taylor each dropped in 8 points for Coffee County.

The 1 day home camp put an end to the summer team sessions for the Red Raiders.  When asked about his impressions of the summer season, head coach Micah Williams had this to say:

CHS Baseball Player Hayden Skipper Selected by State-wide Publication for Postseason Team

Hayden Skipper of CHS baseball

Rising Coffee County CHS senior baseball player Hayden Skipper was selected for the Tennessee Baseball Report All Region Team on Wednesday.  The selection was made by the publication based on statewide nominations.  Skipper was selected to the Region 4 team which includes District 7 and District 8 teams from all 3 classifications.

Skipper was joined on the Region 4 team by 5 District 8AAA rivals.  From Tullahoma, Race Marin and Hollis Fanning were selected.  Chase Rhoton of Franklin County, Jackson Cothren of Lincoln County and Luke Stofel of Lawrence County were also selected.

In 2019, Skipper led the Raiders in most hitting categories for the year.  Skipper led the team in batting average(.376), home runs(4), doubles(10), triples(4), hits(35) and walks(25).  On the mound, Skipper finished with a record of 3 and 4 while leading the team in innings pitched with 38 and strikeouts with 66.  Hayden has verbally committed to play baseball for the University of Louisville.

Coffee County CHS Baseball to Host Camp on Friday

The Coffee County CHS baseball skills clinic scheduled for Tuesday & Wednesday at Powers Field has been rescheduled for Friday morning.  The camp is open to kids ages 5 to 17. The camp will run from 9 AM to 12 noon.

Campers will work with Head Coach David Martin, his high school staff (which includes Matthew Shepherd who pitched in San Diego Padres organization and J.V. Head Coach Parker Gunn), and some varsity players. Each camper will receive age appropriate hands on instruction in all aspects of the game.  The camp is open to players of all ability and skill levels.

Campers will need to bring with them: Bat, Glove, Tennis Shoes, Cleats, Hat and Batting Helmet. Players will utilize the facilities at Powers Field and the Crethan Hansert Hitting Facility on the campus of Coffee County Central High School.  Please contact David Martin ( or 931-743-2279 with any questions.

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